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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Queenstown Winter Fishing Tactics

Where are all the fish?

That was my constant question through June and into early July.

I fished on 13 different days and caught no fish.

I tried lots of different spots and techniques.

All the other anglers I spoke to (and there were not many others braving the coldest Winter temps for 30 years!) reported the same issue, that the fishing was very 'slow'.

But I never give up, so...

Eventually through a lot of time on the water and some thinking it through, via a process of elimination, I came to the conclusion:

As far as the shore based angler is concerned - at this time, the browns are all in the spawning rivers (mostly closed waters), and the Rainbows are not on the flats either.

So the rainbows must be in deeper water I felt. Perhaps over the weed-beds, as there has been zero fish moving on the usual Summer style flats and shelfs in the lake. As they are not feeding in casting range.

So I found some places in Lake Wakatipu where there is deep water very close to the shore, with weed beds as well, as they seem to be the food sources, now in deep winter, not the silty flats.

Then I went there and fished with same immitative tactics as usual, as midges hatched in the late afternoons, with Great Success, and finally started catching Trout again thanks to my finding of the new local Best Spots for July!

I'll be showing off some of these Rainbow trout below...

But first, here is a montage of Winter waters pics from the region!.

Add caption
You can actually see an ice floe breaking off and flowing down the Shotover River here!

 See, it's moving down in the current!

This is the kind of water I was looking for to fish:

Can you spot the trout below in the deep?

And these are pics of some of the 4 'bows so far that are the tasty rewards of all that searching, as I now reach day #18 that I have fished on since the beginning of June...

Check out the cool 'cut throat'(?) style markings on this pre-spawn run 'bow hen

The same fish below

It's just great to have cracked the puzzle for right now, and be catching sweet fish on the 3lb - 7x tippet! :-)


  1. Be careful posting your comments, you will be prompted to 'sign in', and enter a code, so try that first with a 'one word comment' BEFORE you write a long comment...

  2. wow - amazin pics and investigations! i think i recognise pics five and six - i camped there overnight i think - magical spot! love, grace x

  3. Hey, thanks Grace.

    Ah yes, the free picnic area/ self contained campground, at South end of the Lake. Indeed you are surely correct.

    Glad you were able to successfully post a comment, probably the first person ever!

    Usually best to make a copy of your post before trying to load it.